Member assistance

Please read through our frequently asked questions. If you do not find the answer to your inquiry please submit a member assistance inquiry form.

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Information for students and graduates

No, most graduates choose to undertake a graduate program as this provides them with a supported and structured introduction to the workplace. However, graduate programs are not compulsory to holding registration as a registered nurse/ midwife or enrolled nurse.


Under the applicable enterprise agreements, a graduate nurse/midwife usually starts at Grade 2 Year 1.

After each 'year of experience', you then progress through annual pay increments.

‘A year of experience’ means:

“…working an average of three shifts or more per week in a year. If the employee averages less than three shifts per week or 48 hours per fortnight (whichever is the lesser), the employee will need to complete an additional year to advance…”

This means that you need to work a total of at least 1248 hours per year. If you work less
than 1248 hours, you will not receive the next incremental increase (i.e. Grade 2 Year 2) for another year.

The anniversary date for calculating the ‘year of experience’ is the date of the first shift worked, e.g. if you commenced work as a registered nurse/midwife on 10 January, that becomes the date for moving to another increment.

All work performed as a nurse and midwife is counted in the total for the 12-month period.

If you work casually, or in more than one facility, you should retain a record of hours worked (e.g. payslips) to be able to show your employer evidence of work experience. It is your responsibility to provide the information to each employer.

The process above also applies to enrolled nurses. EN Level 2.3 is the entry to practice rate for the first year of experience of an enrolled nurse who holds an NMBA approved diploma of nursing.

Nurses working in mental health services will be classified as RPN 1 during their initial year of nursing. The pay is equivalent to a graduate Grade 2 Year 1 in the general public sector. From the second year, you are classified as RPN 2 with yearly increments up to year 9.


EN Level 2.3 is the entry to practise rate for the first year of experience of an enrolled nurse who holds a NMBA approved diploma of nursing.

An enrolled nurse who completes an undergraduate course which leads to registration and is subsequently registered as a registered nurse will commence at the Grade 2 registered nurse increment immediately above the rate of pay (including senior allowance and/or qualification allowance (where applicable) applicable to that employee.

The Computer Match system is accessible to final year undergraduate nurses and midwives who are seeking a graduate program for the following year. Not all health facilities participate in the match. It is important that undergraduates ensure they read the matching rules and meet the criteria for enrolment. Further information can be found at or read Computer Match articles on our 'On the Record' news website.


Graduate programs are competitive and unfortunately some graduates may initially miss out on a position. There are still many options available to those graduates who are unsuccessful.

Unsuccessful candidates will receive an email from Postgraduate Medical Council of Victoria with a list of positions that are still unmatched. Graduates are encouraged  to contact the hospitals with unmatched positions as soon as possible. There are many ways of obtaining a graduate position. Graduates are encouraged to consider private facilities, as well as hospitals that may be undertaking a mid-year intake. Read our Computer Match articles on our 'On the Record' news website for more tips and advice.

Many major metropolitan health facilities have several sites. It is vitally important that you read your contract thoroughly, as most people are employed by the health facility. Your employment contract may not specify a particular site.

Yes, public hospitals come under the Nurses and Midwives (Victorian Public Sector) (Single Interest Employers) Enterprise Agreement 2016-2020 and therefore public sector employees are all paid in accordance with this agreement. Private hospitals have their own separate agreements and therefore pay and conditions vary. If you log in to our member portal, you can check your agreement.


All employees are required to complete the minimum six-month period of employment before they are eligible to make an application to the Fair Work Commission for unfair dismissal, for example being dismissed because of race, gender, or union membership.

Graduate nurses and midwives asked to attend a disciplinary or performance management meeting are encouraged to contact the ANMF graduate and final year support officer via or the ANMF Member Assistance to seek advice. 


© This work is copyright. Apart from any use permitted under the Copyright Act 1968, no part may be reproduced by any process, nor may any other exclusive right be exercised, without the permission of The Secretary, Australian Nursing & Midwifery Federation (Victorian Branch), Melbourne, 2023.